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Without another wasted second, Vader jumped, landing on the sharp slope. He slid several feet over the combination of wet leaves and slickened rocks.
The moment he came to a stop, he hopped from one moss-covered rock in the stream to the other. Once on the other side, he hurdled the wooden railing, slipping on each narrow step, but got to the top before Gwen made it down.
She skidded to a stop several feet from the natural staircase. Her eyes widened, and her mouth opened.
For one heart-stopping moment, her gaze collided with his. Recognition swept over her, exactly as it had the night he'd licked the wound on her hand. He hadn't imagined their connection. She was his. His gift from the goddesses. His perfect match. His one true mate.
The one woman he could never satisfy completely.
"How did you find me?" Her rough breaths fogged the air.
"I've been searching for you ever since--"
A shot rang out. Chunks of dirt and rocks sprayed over Gwen's legs. She shrieked and jumped back.
Vader didn't bother looking for the shifter hidden somewhere in the woods to his left. Getting to Gwen was all that mattered. He ran toward her, blocking the shooter's aim as best he could with his body. A bullet lodged in his back. Another in his backside. Neither slowed him. The sight of a second shifter stepping from the woods behind Gwen with a rifle aimed at her did stop him, however.
Gwen pivoted and faced the male. Vader didn't know him personally, but he knew of him. Reno was one of the bear shifters from the Ulgran clan, a single-shifter clan who specialized in the human hunts and cage fights that had grown in popularity over the last decade. Anything to entertain the corrupted of their kind.
"I knew you'd make this hunt exciting, little Gwen. I'm glad I suggested it as your punishment."
Reno's words set Vader off. Claws slipped from his fingertips. He took a step forward. Another shot impaled in the ground inches from Gwen. She jerked but didn't run.
"Move again, and the next shot goes in her pretty little ass."
What readers are saying...
"...a sexy and wild ride." Amazon reviewer, 5 stars (Read full review)
"This was one very hot read!" Amazon reviewer, 5 stars (Read full review)
"This is the first shifter series I have read and I was hooked from the first book." Amazon reviewer, 5 stars (Read full review)