|Lunar Eclipse (Collection)
Lycaon Moon: Veda has left the pack, rejecting its edicts, its laws and the lycan rituals. The last thing she wants in her life is an alpha wolf and since leaving the pack, she's refused to run beneath the Lycaon Moon. Kane's been gone for three years, but he's back and determined to mate with Veda.
Lunar Eclipse: The pack elders order Violet Winter to choose a mate by the conclusion of the lunar eclipse. Violet wants to mate for love and in defiance of their edict seduces an unacceptable half-breed. Canon Ross is establishing his place in his mother's pack until he's seduced by a she-wolf, but the flames ignited aren't easily extinguished and Canon refuses to be dismissed.
Mark of the Moon: The mark of the moon prophecy ordains that Ivy Ward must mate with the werewolf bearing a birthmark similar to the one she bears, a crescent shaped moon. Lodan Hunt bears the Mark, but there is far more to this prophecy than a preordained mate.
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Excerpt from Lunar Eclipse (Collection)
© Copyright B.J. McCall, 2011.
A pair of handcuffs tucked in the side pocket of her dark green cargo pants, Veda Pearl stepped out of her SUV. A spiky hairstyle, plum-colored lipstick and heavy eyeliner completed the militant look. Intimidating her prey gave her an edge and tonight her target was sucking down beers in McDougal's Tavern. Veda had learned the hard way, never wear anything she wasn't willing to burn after apprehending a fugitive.
When it came to bail jumpers, fear and anger went hand-in-hand with spit and vomit.
Wedged between an appliance store with going-out-of business signs plastered across its dirty windows and an unoccupied storefront, the tavern's door declared Established 1964 in peeling gold paint. A neon beer sign burned brightly in the tavern's solitary window.
Veda looked up and wrinkled her sensitive nose.
A waxing moon hung in a sky broken by thin wispy clouds and the light breeze carried the stench of unwashed human. Twenty feet away a man was huddled in a doorway hugging a filthy duffle bag to his chest. Beyond the doorway a shiny black pickup, too new and expensive for McDougal's usual clientele, was parked beneath a streetlight.
Shoving her keys into the front pocket of her pants, Veda crossed the street. The thrill of the hunt heightened her senses and heated her blood.
Veda preferred to hunt after sunset, and tonight her prey, a small time hustler called Jesse Lee, should be easy pickings. She'd deliver the bail jumper to the police station and be home by three.
Old man McDougal gave her a brief nod as she stepped inside. The stink of stale cigarette smoke and spilled beer didn't disguise the heady primal scent of wolf. Discounting the humans sitting at the bar, Veda's gaze settled on a man standing at the jukebox on the opposite side of the tavern.
He lifted his head but kept his back to her. Veda knew he'd caught her scent. The time of the Lycaon Moon approached. Even in human form her mating scent grew stronger with each passing day.
Fuck! The last thing she needed was a horny were dogging her steps.
Familiarity stirred. Something about his scent tapped her memory and set her heart racing. Her nose had to be playing tricks on her.
The bail jumper slid off his bar stool. His eyes darted away from her to the back door, telegraphing his intent to run.
"Jesse! Don't do it."
He flipped her off and spun on his heel. Lunging forward, Veda caught him by the collar and slammed his gut into the bar. Planting her knee to his ass, she grasped a wrist and pulled it behind his back.
"Come on, Veda. I'm gonna do real time. I'll pay you whatever it takes."
Reaching into her pocket, she yanked out the cuffs. "Hey, McDougal, has Jesse paid his tab?"
"I don't have the money on me now. Mac knows I'm good for it."
The old man shook his head.
Jesse tried to slip out of his jacket but Veda kept a firm grip on his wrist and snapped a cuff in place. She grasped the other wrist and secured him while a stream of profanity spewed from his mouth. "Shut up, Jesse."
At the far end of the bar a big guy with hair hanging halfway down his back rose from his stool. His stained white tee shirt sported a motorcycle logo. Using Jesse as a shield, she hooked a hand in his belt and backed toward the door.
The big guy's upper lip lifted in a contemptuous sneer. "Let him go."
"Jesse, tell your friend to back off."
"Why don't you tell him?" Taking a step back, Veda dragged Jesse with her. "Motorcycle guy, what's your name?"
The guy fisted his hands. "Frank."
"Look, Frank. Jesse didn't make his court date. If I don't take him tonight, I'll have to get him tomorrow."
"I don't give a fuck about Jesse. I don't like bounty hunters. I especially don't like cunt bounty hunters." Frank charged. Then he dropped to his knees, hitting the scarred plank floor with a heavy thwack. The big guy's face contorted in pain.
The were stood behind Frank holding his ponytail like a hangman's noose. He released the hank of hair and rubbed his palm on his jeans. Veda's breath froze in her lungs as amber eyes locked gazes with her. Her nose hadn't been lying.
The last three years had given his face a sexy maturity and his eyes an intensity she felt down to her core. He'd cut his beautiful long hair and wore a shorter, more conventional style. Faded jeans hugged his lean hips and a dark tee shirt clung to his muscled chest. He wore flip-flops.
Fuck! Why him? Why now? "Hello, Kane."
"Veda." Her name sounded sultry on his lips. "It's been a long time."
Not long enough. "You got my back, Kane?"
She turned Jesse around and shoved him out the door.
"Who's that guy?" Jesse asked. "Nobody challenges Frank."
Veda dragged Jesse across the street to her SUV. "Someone you don't want to know."
She opened the back door. "He'd eat you for breakfast and spit out your bones. Get in. You know the drill."
Like the fool he was, Jesse started laughing but he climbed in the vehicle and sat in the single rear seat. "I bet Frank's making that guy wish he hadn't interfered."
Leaning into the vehicle, Veda snapped the shackles attached to the seat to each of Jesse's ankles.
Her senses went on full alert.
"I think Frank's the one having regrets. You look good, Veda."
She straightened, closed the back door and turned to face Kane. "Thanks. For taking care of Frank."
"Got a few minutes for an old friend?"
Friend. Is that what he thought they were? She yanked open the driver's door and climbed in. "Sorry, Jesse and I have a date with the booking officer."
"A group of us are running tonight. Join us."
The memories of Kane running in the moonlight leading the young wolves through the wooded hills washed over her, but the days of youthful freedom and yearning were over. She dug out her keys and started the engine. "I don't run with the pack."
"So I've heard."
Veda closed the door and stepped on the gas. Unable to resist, she glanced in the rearview mirror. Kane stood in the street watching her.
What the hell was he doing in a dive like McDougal's in the wee hours? After all this time, why had he returned? Why did she care?