Hi everyone, as you know I’ve been running around like a headless chicken getting things sorted for Mace’s Awakening, now available on pre-order at Amazon.com. This is book 3 of the Stockton Wolves series, and the first book I’ve written with a human MC, which was interesting and challenging all at the same time – especially seeing as Mace was straight.
Just to tempt your fancy, here’s an excerpt, where Mace finds out he has a mate.
“Morning,” he [Mace] grunted, slipping into the seat across from Dimitri. “Where’s your shadow this morning?”
“At home, coping with Roan,” Dimitri said bluntly. “Seems there’s a lot more going on with the young pup than we first imagined.”
Mace was just about to take a sip of coffee, and he quickly set the cup down as his hands started to shake. “What do you mean? Is he hurt? Is he in some kind of trouble?” He said urgently. Mace didn’t know why he cared about the young man, but there was no denying the churning in his gut at the thought something might be wrong.
“You’re not going to want to hear this,” Dimitri said, keeping his voice low. “But you have to and I’ll explain why, after.”
Mace barely kept from crushing his coffee mug as Dimitri outlined what he and Shane learned the night before. To think someone so young, had been sold since he was fifteen, repeatedly, to men who abused him and treated him like a slave was bad enough. To hear Roan thought the way he’d been treated was normal and he’d expected to be sold again was an outrage.
“Where did he get the idea I’d sold him to you guys? I don’t even know him and never met him before yesterday,” Mace whispered angrily.
He took the last mouthful of his coffee, and promptly sprayed it all over the table as Dimitri said, “You’re his mate.”
“I can’t be,” Mace muttered as he quickly wiped the spilled coffee with some napkins. He knew exactly what being a mate meant. He didn’t do commitment; he barely even dated. And when he did date it was someone in skirt, not pants.
“Roan knows you’re straight, and he now knows that you didn’t realize your connection when you met. Incidentally that’s the only reason you caught him – you being mates. He got a whiff of your scent and couldn’t get his feet to move.”
“But…he thought I’d…how can anyone…?”
“He’s been raised with some pretty bizarre notions,” Dimitri agreed. “It’s going to take a lot of time, patience and understanding to break his training. Shane’s at home now trying to convince him that he doesn’t have to clean the whole house, or cook meals for everyone. You can imagine how Kalel felt this morning bursting into the kitchen to find Roan had already cooked. It was world war three in there at one point.”
“And he thinks we’re mates?” Mace wondered if that’s why he’d had such an inappropriate reaction to the young man the night before; why he felt the urge to go straight to Dimitri’s and sweep Roan into his arms and keep him there.
“He knows you’re his mate,” Dimitri said firmly. “You’re going to have to trust me on this. We know, people like me and the others, we know. I knew the second I scented Shane after my first shift. He didn’t because he hadn’t shifted for the first time yet. But I knew and I never forgot his scent.”
“But you ran away. You left him and didn’t come back into his life for eight years.” Mace remembered hearing the story not long after he’d become an unofficial member of Dimitri’s pack.
“I did. I’m not proud of my reaction. In my defense, I was young. I’d been screwing girls for years. Same-sex matings weren’t allowed in my home pack, and they still aren’t tolerated that well now. But it was stupid because eventually my wolf wouldn’t allow me to get close to anyone, and I missed Shane like crazy. I had no choice but to hunt him down, and I’ve thanked the Fates every day since that he forgave me and let me claim him.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say. What should I do?”
Dimitri looked at him and if Mace didn’t know better he’d think the big man was being compassionate; Dimitri was only kind to his mate. He was proven wrong when Dimitri spoke. “I can’t tell you what to do,” he said softly. “I do know that Roan is an omega wolf, and they think differently than others. Shane could handle being on his own, and he was strong enough to leave our home pack and forge a life for himself, but then he hasn’t got an omega bone in his body. He still found it tough. Omegas need to be looked after. They’re usually mated to alphas strong enough to protect them and keep them safe. Roan’s been abused by everyone in his life before now, including his parents who had him simply so they could sell him. You’ve rejected him twice already. In his heart he knows you’re human but his wolf is feeling like he’s not wanted and this could break him.”
“So basically, what you’re telling me is that I have no choice but to be with him. Even though I’ve never thought of having a man in my life like that; even though I’m married to my work and would make a lousy partner for anyone. Just because Roan’s a special kind of wolf, I’ve no choice but to have him as a mate?”
“You have every choice in the world,” Dimitri snapped, getting to his feet and throwing money on the table. The grumpy Alpha Mace was familiar with was back. “It’s a pity Roan doesn’t have the same choices you do. I get it, I do. I’ve been where you are. But if you can’t help Roan, then stay away the hell away from him. The pack will make sure he’s taken care of.”
Dimitri stalked out of the coffee house looking every inch the predator he was. Mace’d never felt uncomfortable in the man’s presence before, not even when he’d changed into a wolf and tore out a killer’s throat right in front of him. But as he signaled the waitress for another cup of coffee, he had a feeling he’d just made a horrible mistake.
Of course, I always write stories with happy endings, so Mace will get his crap together, but it takes a bit of time. You can pre-order your copy simply by clicking here. Available July 19th.