Olivia, born blind and without the ability to shift, yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful and devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she’s alone and at risk in the forest’s brutal winter when she’s rescued by a park ranger and taken to his cabin in Deep Creek. By the warmth of a crackling fire, she’s comforted by his presence. But it’s his rugged scent that stirs something in her she’s never felt before.
Bear shifter Powell sensed the instant he held her that Olivia was his mate. He also knew she had the untapped powers to discover her true shifting nature—if only he could convince her to trust in him, and to believe in herself. Now the one thing that stands to threaten their healing mating hunger is Olivia’s distrusting and vigilant pack. A pack prepared to do anything to get her back.
But there is no danger as strong, no desire so liberating as what Powell is bringing out in her—because Olivia can finally see where her destiny lies.
The snow had picked up, and it bit into her face as it fell faster and the wind whipped it against her. She imagined the flakes as little spears swirling in puffs of air then attacking her bare skin. She had to move before she froze. Willing her legs to move, she lifted them one by one, her injured ankle sending aftershocks of pain up her leg to her thigh.
She sat up, feeling the ground around her body with her hands. Her wet gloves stuck to her palms, and she mashed her fingertips against the ground, trying to figure out where the ground ended and a cliff began.
One wrong move and she could fall to her death. She pulled her hood around her face, the faux fur trim tickling her cheek. The flush of adrenaline was wearing off and the shakes set in.
Do or die moment.
She slid to the right, dragging her bum ankle, which had numbed to a hard block of flesh. Feeling the solid ground again, she inched a bit more. A few more times, and sweat had formed on her back, though she still shook from the chill of wet clothes and falling snow. She tugged her scarf tighter, trying to keep her neck protected from the elements.
Hope I’m going in the right direction. If she could get to the embankment she had tumbled down, she could figure out how to climb it. Moving incrementally, she continued to slide toward what she hoped was the hill. The wind whistled as it swept around the cliffs and through the trees.
The wolves had gone silent.
Her wet pants, soaked through from sitting in the snow, began to stiffen. Warmth filled her legs and she closed her eyes.
The darkness was blacker than usual. She yawned.
She breathed deeply, scenting the pine amongst the snow. Always a peaceful scent, and one that reminded her of her mother. If she were alive, she’d never have allowed Alfred to lay claim on Olivia. She’d have fought him herself if she had to.
The shivers and shakes were continuous but she ignored them. The embankment had to be close.
She touched the incline. Steep at the bottom, it would take a lot of energy to haul herself up. And she was exhausted.
It’s not so cold any more.
Was that a wolf howl? Or a bird call? She leaned against the bank and listened to the muted sounds in the snowy forest. The air had warmed. When had it gotten so warm? She could take a little nap before trying to climb the embankment.
Yes, a short nap. A few minutes.
The crunch of heavy footsteps sounded, and Olivia struggled to stay awake, her heart picking up speed at the thought of Alfred.
“You there. What are you doing out here in this blizzard? And all alone at that?”
The voice, a man’s, was commanding and firm.
And not Alfred’s.
“My ankle,” she whispered.
“What?” More footsteps. “You’re injured.”
His voice melted over her like warm honey, and she waited to hear him speak again. She could listen to him forever…she took a long deep breath and the world silenced.
“Oh no you don’t.”
The voice jerked her back into wakefulness. No longer cold, she couldn’t remember why she’d even worried.
“I need to rest for a few minutes.” She curled on her side. “I’m so sleepy.”