The Tracker Series, Book 1
Out of print. Available in e-book.
Native American Michaela Proud thinks her escalating nightmares signal madness. But the truth is far worse. For she is being stalked by the god of death. And when she suffers a brutal attack at his hands, she awakens to find a devastatingly handsome stranger kneeling before her. Whose gentle touch eases her pain…and makes her feel safe.
An Inanoka shape-shifter and healer, Sebastian doesn't want to feel anything for the beautiful woman he's rescued. But he can't abandon her once he discovers she has a spirit wound. As he cares for Michaela, he realizes that he can read her thoughts, emotions…and desire. Sebastian realizes that he's found his true mate. But will she accept him once she learns his darkest secret?
BUY THE BOOK
The bird song reached her and then a gentle wind brushed her cheek. Michaela blinked her eyes open to find herself propped up against a log in a grassy area. Before her, an unfamiliar stream burbled. The place seemed the picture of serenity. Why then were the hairs on her neck rising?
Where was she? Disjointed images of bears and yellow-eyed monsters flashed, like lightening, through her mind.
Michaela’s gaze darted about, searching for some familiar landmark. Instead, she found the cause of her disquiet. He watched from the shadowy grove of spruce to her left, as if intentionally shielding himself from view. He squatted on his haunches like a satyr, staring with intent, predatory eyes.
His thick brown hair hung loose, brushing his wide shoulders and further cloaking his features. He did not smile, but rather looked warily at her. His nostrils flared. If she didn’t know better she’d think—was he trying to smell her?
Who was he? Another thought deepened her concern. Was he even really there? She was awake now, she felt certain.
Sleep deprivation. Hallucinations. Dr. Kent’s warning echoed through her mind.
She rubbed the back of one hand over her disbelieving eyes, half expecting him to vanish. At the slight movement a scorching pain burned to life, like the touch of a hot branding iron searing flesh.
His eyes shifted to her wound now, but she continued to watch him. His tanned skin glowed a deep golden hue, a shade darker than hers. She had not met him, for she certainly would have remembered such a man. His long nose and slightly angled eyes reminded her of the Lakota, the tribe of her mother. Her tribe as well, though she had never taken part in such things.
He stood slowly, growing with her apprehension. He must be nearly seven feet tall, a giant of a man. He seemed invincible. Powerful enough to frighten off the ghostly-eyed black bear without drawing a weapon. Yes, she recalled him now, standing fearlessly before the vaporous thing that stalked her. He had shouted at the monster and it had hissed an unintelligible reply. How was that possible?
Every part of him was larger than life, from his fierce expression to his powerful restraint. He stood completely still, radiating danger as a furnace radiates heat. The intensity of his stare touched off whirlwinds of awareness in her.
He stepped from the shadows, revealing himself, and her sense of vulnerability grew. Handsome did not begin to describe his features. Sexy, oh yes, with a full erotic mouth and square jaw, the perfect complement to his thick dark hair.
She looked up at her savior. This man, this man who was too beautiful to be a man, had rescued her from the yellow-eyed demon. He did not dissolve as the dark shadow had done, but continued towards her.
She glanced at the denim shirt, flapping open in the breeze to give her an unobstructed view of the defined bulk of his muscles. Under other circumstances that would have made her mouth water, but something about him frightened her. His very presence caused her primitive alert system to jangle to life.
He paused before her, motionless. The menacing air surrounding him made her tremble.
The silence stretched and she dared glance at his face once more.
He seemed to be deciding her fate. She sensed his indecision.
“Who are you?” she whispered.
His brow furrowed, and she drew back. “Have you returned to your senses, little rabbit?”
“What did you see happen?”
She closed her eyes and concentrated. Her memory lay broken like shattered pieces of glass. Her doctors had a name for this, something like—psychic break, the separation of the mind from the grim reality of the body. But if she had suffered another brain injury, how could she recall the bear attack in such minute detail? The bear’s charge replayed in her mind. She saw it from beyond herself. The beast tore her flesh and shook her like a rag doll. A second bear, the grizzly, charging the first.
She spoke without opening her eyes. “I was attacked.”
He squatted at her side, his voice coming soft and commanding. “Yes?”
“There was another bear, a bigger one.”
He chuckled, though she could not fathom what was funny. She opened her eyes and found him reaching out. The urge to pull back and the desire to lean forward clashed within her, and so she did nothing at all as he stroked her cheek with his big, callused hand. At his touch, an unexpected sense of calm filled her, as if he had some special power to soothe.
She nearly closed her eyes to savor the contact, but instead she narrowed them on him. Where had he come from?
The deep gravelly quality of his voice made her insides jump as if he stroked her. “What else?” he coaxed.
His hand settled upon the juncture of her neck and shoulder.
She closed her eyes to concentrate, thinking back. What she had seen next had no logical explanation.
Her eyes snapped open. “What are you?”
He withdrew his hand. With it went the comfort she had gained from his touch. He clenched his fists, flexing the bulky muscles of his chest. The rock hard wall of muscle served as silent reminder of his physical superiority, and she forced herself not to cower as he stood menacingly over her like a raised dagger. She lifted her chin with an air of defiance that did not reach her quaking innards. He stalked away.
Michaela glanced about the unfamiliar surroundings more afraid of being alone than facing this brooding man. “Don’t go.”
He paused, his back to her and his posture rigid. Standing there in the forest’s dappled light, he looked completely uncivilized. Gradually, he turned until she could see his face in profile.
“You don’t know what you ask.”
She didn’t, but she sensed he understood. She could see it in his troubled eyes, both the wisdom and the power.
“You saw it.” Somehow she was certain that he had and if he had, it meant the specter was not some creation of her mind. She clung to that hope. Her doctors said her problems began and ended in her injured brain. But twice now she had seen the monster while awake—and she was awake now, wasn’t she? Dr. Kent hadn’t believed her. But this man knew otherwise.
He strode back to her like some wild beast, turning her hope to alarm. Her breath caught at the sight of his grace and primal beauty. He stood without presumption and with an aura of supremacy that captivated her. She had never seen a man like this. He crouched beside her with a dangerous confidence that unsettled her. Then he glanced about the deserted clearing perhaps searching for signs of the nightmare that haunted her. His nostrils flared as he scented the air as if he could detect things invisible to her.
From this distance, she could see that his deep brown irises were ringed with gold. As she watched, his pupil’s dilated adding to her gut impression that he was not what he seemed. He was dangerous, but was he more dangerous than her ghostly attacker?
“Can you protect me from it?”
He did not deny her peril as the doctors had done, nor did he diminish her fears. Instead, he fixed her with a commanding stare.