New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Larissa Ione returns with a new story in her Demonica series…
Sold into slavery mere hours after his birth to werewolf parents, Tracker spent decades in service to cruel underworlders. Then the fallen angel Harvester transferred his ownership to a human woman who gave him as much freedom as the unbreakable bond would allow. Still, thanks to his traumatic past, he’s afraid to trust, let alone feel love. But when an acquaintance shows up at his door, injured and in need of help, he finds himself longing for a connection. For someone to touch. For someone to care.
Stacey Orr has had it bad for Tracker since the day her best friend, Jillian, was forced to hold his unbreakable slave bond. At first, the fact that he’s a werewolf seemed weird to Stacey, but hey, her best friend was married to one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so weird is definitely a matter of perspective. Stacey knows the depths of Tracker’s trauma, and she longs to help him even as he helps her, but breaking through his walls isn’t easy.
And it only gets harder when the only blood family he has, the pack that gave him away, lays claim to him…and everything he loves.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
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Damn, Stacey was stubborn.
And sure, Tracker liked that. To a point. Her stubbornness made it damned hard to protect her. As a DART agent, he was sure she was capable, just as she’d said. But just as he’d said, she was injured, and until he found out what they were dealing with, she had no business being out here.
It was his duty. Period.
As far as her deception—although he hesitated to label it that—he wasn’t sure what to do. He didn’t truly believe that Jillian would be cruel in her anger. His reaction had more to do with his past experiences than his present.
And in the past, he could be tortured mercilessly for what had happened between he and Stacey. Now…now he was worried more about disappointing Jillian.
Jillian has basically freed you, but you keep putting the shackles back on.
Shackles? Stacey had no idea.
But it was something he’d have to deal with later. Right now, something was lurking in the forest.
He looked toward the heavens, measuring the darkness. The sky was clear and the moon was nearly full. Which meant a lot of light. Too much light. He’d be easily seen out in the open.
The trees and buildings threw silhouettes onto the fresh white snow, so he kept between drifts and in the shadows as best as he could and used his natural night vision to scan the forest. Pausing near the barn, he raised his head, seeking scents that might be out of place.
He caught a whiff of a deer somewhere nearby, but aside from that, nothing stood out. Still, the sense of a threat remained, like an oil slick on his skin.
He moved cautiously in the direction of the Harrowgate. The roads weren’t cleared yet, so anyone trying to get here would either have to use the gate, flash in, or hike for miles through deep snow and thick forest.
He really hoped no one had flashed in. Anyone capable of materializing into a location was powerful. Granted, anyone who could use a Harrowgate was a bigger threat than your average human, but the flashers were next-level dangerous. Fallen angel and hellhound-level dangerous.
As he approached the plowed path leading to the Harrowgate, the danger vibe intensified. Adrenaline spiked hot in his veins, bringing with it the high of the hunt. The only time he’d been happy in Sheoul was when there was a threat or when he was hunting something his masters wanted. The beast inside him craved the chase, and for a brief time, nothing else mattered. He could forget everything but the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of a good battle.
He’d given his all, and he’d earned a reputation among slave owners of being willing to face anything, do anything, go anywhere, because he was so brave.
His owners, who had bragged about his fierceness, were wrong. He hadn’t been brave. He just hadn’t cared whether he’d lived or died.
Now he cared.
More important, he had people he cared about.
About Larissa Ione:
Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career in meteorology to pursue her passion of writing. She has since published dozens of books, hit several bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today, and has been nominated for a RITA award. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her retired U.S. Coast Guard husband, her son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhounds, a King Shepherd named Hexe and a Belgian Malinois named Duvel.
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