Midnight Desire by Mia Petrova

I woke up with the sun streaming down my face. My head was lying on the kitchen table, still buried in paperwork from last night. I moaned when I lifted my head. My muscles obviously weren’t happy about my sleeping arrangements. I felt exhausted, completely out of resources, and realized coming to Wyoming definitely hadn’t been my best idea. I didn’t even know why I had come here. I’d just taken a plane and ended up in a small, secluded little cabin in the middle of nowhere.

The only thing I was happy about was the mountain ranges. In here, I could run freely without being bothered by my pack. I loved the boys I’d left behind, but as I was the only female among them, jokes never stopped hitting me. My brother, Alaric, saw the whole thing as love; I saw it as bullying. He had found a mate recently, a woman named Myra, the love of his life, and suddenly I was invisible. The entire story about mates was driving me insane, especially when my research was not going anywhere. I was trying to figure out how I would stay alive if I didn’t find the man who would fulfill my desires.

The first signs of the mating heat had appeared a week ago, and now I was urgently trying to find out everything I could about the subject. A few months ago, the packs around the world had thought only human females were awakening, but now I was the concrete proof that it could also happen to female wolves. I couldn’t find my mate in my pack, so naturally, I was coming to him or he was coming to me, but the waiting was killing me. I didn’t know what to do.

My phone started ringing. I dragged my legs to the kitchen counter and saw the caller ID. “Look who’s finally calling,” I said. I sounded upset, and I really was.

My big brother, Alaric, screamed through the phone. “What are you doing, River? The boys just told me you left. Where the hell are you?”

I sighed loudly, for him to hear it. “After weeks without talking to me, you want answers? Bite me, Alaric.” I rolled my eyes as if he could see me.

“I told you about the mating heat. I needed to take care of Myra,” he said forcefully, angry out of his mind.

“Screwing her senseless, you mean,” I said to provoke him.

I heard him curse under his breath. “Goddamn it, River, come back home right now!” he demanded with a harsh voice.

Just thinking about leaving this stupid place made my insides hurt. I had to stay here for some reason. “I can’t leave. I just can’t!” I shouted.

“Well then, I’m coming to get you.”

No!” I cried. “Please, Alaric. Don’t.” Now my voice sounded hurt, and the silence on his end showed me that he had noticed. He was just taking the time to think about what to do or what to say.

“Fine.” I heard him sigh. “I can see that you’re going through some stuff. But if you need anything, River…For heaven’s sake, little sister, you call me, and I’ll come running.”

My eyes watered with tears. That was my brother and me; we were fighting one second and the next we were hugging. “I will, big brother.”

After we hung up, I went to stand on the porch. The sun was strong, making the snow glow on the ground like tiny diamonds. One other thing I appreciated about this new place. Standing there, I thought about how secluded everything was, and for the first time since I could even remember, I was free to do whatever I wanted. Cold wind hit my wild curls, and a thought occurred to me.

I went inside, took all my clothes off, left the cabin, closed the door behind me, and I took off running. I transformed into my wolf form, and I just ran. I left a trail of paw prints on the snow, marking the ground as my own. I loved the feel of it, of being free and not having anyone bossing me around. I ran until the twilight began to set in, and then I decided it was time to go home. However, when I was ready to go back, my strong hearing picked up some heavy movement not so far from where I was. Suddenly, my curiosity took over, and my paws sent me in that direction.

Without wanting to startle whatever it was, I moved slowly, especially when I found the one responsible for those noises. The culprit was a male, a human male. He was just walking, but he made so much noise with his feet breaking branches that I wondered why no animal had come looking for him. I was in Wyoming, and even I knew there were a lot of dangers in these parts.

Quietly and slowly, I followed him. I didn’t know why. I just did, as if I’d been hit by a spell. His beauty fascinated me. I had never seen a male as exquisite as this one I had encountered. The way he moved kept me captivated also. He seemed to be the kind of man who knew what to do in any situation, as he radiated powerful strength.

Then he glanced over his shoulder, astonishing me, watching me with a surprised stare. We both froze. I watched like a hunter looking at prey. From his gaze alone, I couldn’t tell if he was scared or if he was just stunned by my sudden presence. We were far away from one another, but I noticed that his eyes were light blue, and they looked kind. He seemed to be tall, like me, and his muscles seemed big beneath all those winter clothes. The male had short dark blond hair, the same color as his short beard.

I knew what he saw was a white wolf with gray eyes. Bigger than normal, but still quite large. Maybe that was the cause of the fascination written all over his face. With all my attention turned to him, I didn’t realize the threat behind him until it was too late. A bear appeared out of nowhere, stalking the male that stared at me. Without any reason whatsoever, the bear attacked. I howled, and that was just enough for the male to sense the danger and to duck. When he fell on the snow, I ran toward the large bear. He lashed out at me and struck one of my paws while I jumped at him. I lashed at him again, my teeth finally grabbing his neck. Like an animal, I used my strength to make him stumble until he fell, and I finished him. I’d felt so desperately angry when he attacked the stranger I felt as if I didn’t have any other choice besides killing it.

I heard footsteps on the snow, and my head jerked up. I’d been startled by the male I’d once thought astonished by my wolf. Feeling ashamed of myself for killing in front of him and startling him in the process, I turned my back and tried to take a step forward. I winced and looked down. There I saw my bloody paw. I was hurt, but that didn’t stop me from running way. I heard the male screaming something, but then the sound was gone.

He was gone.

   

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