Series: Lunar Mates 8
Couple: Gia Roberts & Anthony Cross
Published: June 22, 2017
Gia Roberts is part of a secret organization of humans who hunt rogue shifters, none of whom know she’s a shifter herself and a werewolf princess. Her royal heritage is her most closely guarded secret known only by her family. It’s not a bad life but lately she’s been wanting more.
Then the unexpected happens and her group forms a tentative alliance with the werewolf hunters. Her boss pairs her up with Anthony, the leader of the group. Working with him is torture. He’s irritating. He gets on her last nerve. And he sets her body on fire.
The last thing Gia wants to do is give into the craving she feels for the wolf, but he gets harder to resist with each passing week. When yet another secret from her past comes back to haunt her, will she be able to trust him with everything or will he be the worst enemy of all?
The pressure had finally sent him over the edge. It was the only reason her cousin Gage would have agreed to this crackpot plan her uncle had concocted. Gia paced the sitting room of the upscale hotel suite Gage had taken for the weekend and listened while another cousin of theirs, Lilah, joined them on Skype and added her opinion. Gia had driven down from her small town in North Carolina to see Gage in person, but Lilah had recently given birth to twin daughters and her mates had refused to let her join them in person.
Gia snorted. That was exactly what she was trying to avoid, finding herself mated to an autocratic dictator with dreams of living in the Middle Ages, when it might have been acceptable to completely control his mate’s life. The werewolf world had changed, not enough for her tastes yet, but it had and Anthony, the leader of the hunters and the other half of her uncle’s hair brained scheme would just assume shove modern society off the edge of the Earth. He’d look sexy as hell doing it, no doubt, but she knew better than to spend one second longer than necessary with a wolf who wanted to claim her.
“Julian’s right, Gia,” Gage said. “This is the best way to deflect Anthony’s suspicion of your group, and you are by far the most qualified for this partnership.”
Julian was her mother’s brother and like the others in his organization was human. They’d successfully hidden their existence for decades, though at one time they’d been aligned with the Regis. Then one of their own had stalked a woman, who happened to be Anthony’s friend and under his protection. Nothing wrong with that and it certainly wasn’t unusual for a werewolf, mate or not, to protect a woman. Anthony was not an average wolf though. He was smart as hell and he’d recently discovered the existence of a female werewolf. Until recently, they had been pure myth but now that he had proof–her cousin Lilah–he’d begun to search more diligently. None of the people in this room, whether physically or on Skype, wanted him delving too deeply there.
“Besides, we need someone close to Anthony,” Gage continued. “We need to know what he’s found out and what he suspects.”
She always wondered if her cousin could read minds. Lilah’s identity was now known, though being a female shifter wasn’t widely known, but that wasn’t even the most dangerous part of it. Now Anthony knew Lilah was part of the Regis family, who’d once ruled the werewolves. The last Regis, Gia’s and Lilah’s great uncle, had been betrayed by some of his hunters and ultimately murdered by rogues. His pack had scattered. Anyone who could claim his throne, or bear a son to claim his throne, was raised in secrecy. Her whole life she’d been raised to view hunters with suspicion, to hide who and what she was, and now they wanted her to go into the lion’s den.
“Declan has assured me they don’t know who you or I are,” Gage pressed on.
She didn’t have anything to do with her father’s brother and Gage knew it, but if anyone was in a position to protect her secrets inside the hunters, it was Declan. They were his secrets too, after all. She had no idea why he’d stayed with the hunters so long but there was no denying his presence had helped shelter many more than just her and Lilah. How many records had he altered over the years? He’d changed his own history and wiped out hers. Anthony couldn’t find out who she was unless she told him, and she didn’t dare risk that. He might be able to deal with her being a female werewolf, might accept the independence that was so much a part of her nature. She’d stayed hidden partly because of those things. But even if she’d been born male, she never would have stayed in a pack. She was a lone wolf, through and through. If he ever found out she was part of the Regis family, he would push for answers. He would demand she give up the rest of her relatives, especially that elusive living Regis. Her cousin. Gage. Who was now watching her very suspiciously.
“There’s something you aren’t telling us.”
She sighed. There wasn’t much point in hiding it was there? She moved into view of the laptop camera so she could see Lilah too. “I’m not sure I can keep the things that should remain secret from him if I’m forced into prolonged exposure.”
They both understood exactly what she was saying though she hid the turmoil that had plagued her since she met him. Would he accept she could shift? Because she wouldn’t be able to hide that indefinitely. If he found out what family she came from, could she hide their identities? If he found out about Gage would he accept his king or betray him like his predecessors?
“He’s your mate,” Gage said softly. “If you want to disappear I’ll arrange it, and I’ll protect you with all the power at my disposal.” Which was considerable. “But I’d never ask you to choose your mate over me.”
For a second, she was stunned by that offer but it morphed into anger soon enough. Not really at him. More at the situation. “And I’d never accept a mate who forced me to make that choice.”
After a moment he nodded. They both accepted their places in the world. They were family, yes, but he was also her king.
“I’ll pull you out anytime you need,” Gage promised.
She intended to hold him to it.