|Clay (Thunder Wolves 2)|
Kissa Troy mistakenly believes she's safe in her identity as Beth Smith. No one knows she's a mountain cat shifter and hiding from the Catamounts, a dangerous shifter cult. One day, a sexy alpha wolf walks into her life. Shaking off a determined wolf isn't easy. When she's tracked down by the Catamounts, Kissa turns to the wolf for protection.
Wolves and mountain cats are natural enemies, but all it takes is one breath and Clay Thunder is hooked. The sex is hot. The attraction is undeniable. She may be a cat with trouble on her tail, but she's the one.
Still. A wolf -- and a mountain cat?
Buy it today ~ Read an excerpt from Clay
Excerpt for Clay
Kissa Troy clasped her hands to keep them from shaking. Her dad was gone. She was alone. What would the government do with her now? Her life in witness protection had been a series of new identities, new places and new faces.
Even the deputy, who had introduced himself as Deputy U.S. Marshal Brown, was new. The name suited him -- he was ordinary in appearance with short brown hair and brown eyes. “Where’s Henry?”
“Busy. You’re no longer assigned to the program.”
No longer assigned? “Henry promised we’d be taken care of.”
“Your father was the protected witness. He’s dead. File closed.”
After ten years in the program, the government was cutting her loose. “What if they come after me?”
“You have no value as a witness,” Brown said. “Bezo’s in prison. We see no reason why they’d be interested in you.”
She lowered her voice. “Whoever we is doesn’t know the Catamounts.” And you, Mr. Brown, don’t have a clue.
Brown slid a large envelope across the table. “Your new identity and something to get you started.”
Kissa stared at the envelope, but didn’t pick it up.
Brown tapped his index finger on the envelope. “It’s clean. Make the best of it.”
Clean meant the identity wasn’t archived within the program. She’d have no ties and no one protecting her back.
“Per your father’s request we’ve arranged for cremation.”
Kissa looked at Brown. The deputy pulled out his phone to check his messages. “I want my father’s ashes.”
“The ashes will be scattered,” he said, not bothering to look at her.
“Where? I want to be there.”
The deputy looked at her, his expression devoid of sympathy. “Not going to happen.”
She pulled out her phone. “I want to talk to Henry.”
Brown stared her, his expression challenging her to try. She dialed and got a recording for a disconnected number.
“I’ll need your documents.”
Kissa bit her lip. She wanted to protest, but her needs would fall on deaf ears. She pulled a nylon pouch from beneath her sweatshirt and removed the driver’s license, medical and social security card she’d been using for the last four years and handed them to Brown. Sharon Jones vanished as the deputy tucked the cards in his pocket.
Brown stood. “You’ve been here too long. Don’t stick around.”
Fear shot through her. “They’ve found us?”
“A big cat shifter in a city hospital is an anomaly. My advice, disappear and don’t look back.”
Mountain cats cured their ills by shifting, but Kissa’s father was half human. Shifting mended broken bones and injured muscles, but the cancer attacking his brain was beyond magic and medicine. She knew he was gone, but still found the finality of his life difficult to accept.
Long after Brown left, Kissa remained at the table, sipping coffee and staring at the hospital across the street. Brown had given her good advice, but Kissa wasn’t ready to let go. The three-story building with its wide hallways and ugly green walls was her last connection to the most important person in her life.
Kissa opened the envelope and removed a Nevada driver’s license, a social security card and a thin stack of bills, all hundreds. No contact numbers. No safe address. She was on her own.
Tears formed in her eyes, but Kissa wiped them away. No point in crying. As she’d been trained, she memorized the information before placing the cards and money into the nylon document holder. She’d learned long ago the necessity of being prepared to bug out at a moment’s notice.
She shouldered her daypack, left the diner and crossed the street. Kissa entered the hospital and took the stairs to the second floor. She walked along the hallway and stepped into her father’s room.
The bed had already been stripped and all traces of her father were gone. Still stunned by the loss of her father, Kissa left the hospital. With all her worldly possessions in the daypack and nothing but memories to sustain her, she started walking toward the bus station and an uncertain future.
* * *
Clay Thunder took off his wide-brimmed hat and peeled off his sweat-soaked T-shirt. He looked at his shift boss. “Can it get any hotter?”
Dan was pushing forty, hard-working with an easy smile. New to the roofing crew, Clay appreciated the older man’s friendship.
Dan pulled off his ball cap and dragged the back of his hand across his forehead. “Probably. This job’s almost done. You staying on for the next one?”
Replacing his hat, Clay looked over the expansive roof. He’d spent the last two months working for a roofing company. Every week he swore it was his last job, but then he’d take another. Clay knew he’d been stalling. Breaking up with his longtime girlfriend, Rani, had been difficult. Clay cared for Rani, but she wasn’t his true mate. His parents loved her like a daughter and the pack thought of them as a couple. The pressure to reconsider his shocking decision had driven Clay to L.A. As the weeks had passed, Clay knew he’d made the right decision. The city wasn’t the place for a wolf, but Clay wasn’t sure he was ready to go home.
“I’m thinking about it. Can’t say I’m looking forward to another job in this heat.”
“Speaking of hot,” Dan said. “Your fan club is back.”
Clay turned around and glanced at the bar across the street. A slender woman stood just outside the front door, sipping a soda. Her sandy brown hair fell past her shoulders and sunglasses shielded her eyes.