Authors: Stephanie Nelson
Embracing the Wolf
Book 2 in the Anna Avery Series
Copyright © 2013
All Rights Reserved.
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This book is a work of fiction. People, places, events, and situations are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or historical events, is purely coincidental.
The Gwen Sparks Series
The Anna Avery Series
Taming the Wolf
Embracing the Wolf
Becoming the Wolf – A Novella (coming July 2013)
Cupid Painted Blind – Featuring a Gwen Sparks short story
Once Upon a Midnight Dreary
Eternal Summer – Features a Gwen Sparks short story (coming June 2013)
Writing a book is a tedious, tedious process. Sometimes my imagination fails me and my muse refuses to talk to me. There are days where I asked myself, “What in the world are you doing?” I find the answer when I receive messages from my readers. To know that the countless hours I spent hunched over my keyboard, making stuff up, meant something to someone is the greatest reward. Readers really are the backbone of an author’s life. You guys invest your faith and time in us and drive us to continue doing what we love. I dedicate this book to every single one of you.
I leaned against the banister at the back of the deck. Adam stood at the front, our pack in the middle, listening to his every word. An easy smile fell across my lips as I stared at my Chante. His shaggy blonde hair brushed his jaw as he moved his head with his speech. Strong arms cut through the air as he gestured with his hands. Our pack hung on his every word, and so did I. He captivated me, and not just with his announcement about a scheduled summit. Adam was my other half, my soul mate—my Chante. Every fiber of my being had been designed just for him, as well as he had been for me. As a girl who never kept a boyfriend longer than two weeks, all of this was new to me. I had been thrust into not just a relationship, but also a union. Our bonding tied us together and left me highly aware of his presence. The odd thing was, I wasn’t afraid of it. When I looked at Adam, I felt three things: pride, lust, and love—not necessarily in that order.
“… to train Anna …” His words cut through my mind like a blade, severing all thoughts of love and lust. I snapped to attention and listened to what he was saying.
“As my Chante, people will use us against each other. All of you will participate in helping me train your alpha female.”
Alpha female. I couldn’t forget how I earned that title. After Adam killed his previous mate while defending me, I took her place. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I am not a home wrecker by any means. Eve was a psychotic bitch who had a taste for human flesh and blood. She tried, and failed, to pin the murders on me. When that didn’t pan out, she and Adam’s brother, Anthony, kidnapped me. Long story short, Eve was dead, and because Adam and I are bonded, I am the new alpha female. The ceremony is scheduled to take place in two days. Each one of my pack members respected me, but I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I was not a purebred like alphas are supposed to be, and I didn’t earn the title. As a werewolf for only five months, I didn’t feel like I put in my dues to be at the top of the pecking order. The most I could do was work at earning my place every day. I wanted my pack to respect me because I had earned it and not because of whom I was bonded to. Adam is purebred and alpha material through and through. Me? Not so much.
“Meeting adjourned,” Adam said. A tingle burst through my veins and his eyes found mine. My wolf quivered, a low growl vibrating through my bones. I watched Adam cut through the pack and stalk toward me. His azure eyes pinned me in my place and promised naughty things. I hoped my brown ones were conveying the same message.
When he reached me, he rested his hands on either side of the deck’s railing and leaned forward, trapping my body. I watched his mouth slowly come closer, but he did not kiss me.
“You know,” he said, his breath hot against my lips. “As my mate, your place is by my side, not hiding back here.”
Adam had asked me multiple times to stand up front with him when he had meetings. And each time I opted for watching from afar.
“But you handle them so eloquently,” I told him with a small smile. “I would only distract from that.”
“The only thing you’re distracting is my concentration. All my eyes wanted to focus on were the curves of your body.”
I laughed. “Is that so?”
“Hmm,” Adam agreed. “It’s a constant battle: give the pack my undivided attention or imagine the swell of your breasts. If you stood beside me, you would be out of my line of sight and make things a lot easier on me.”
“I had no idea how difficult this was on you,” I said with mock sincerity. “It’s only fair, as your Chante, that I put you out of your misery. Next meeting I will take my place up front.”
Adam grinned. “That’s all I’m asking.” He pressed a quick kiss to my lips before Joe called his name, and he headed off to take care of whatever business had popped up.
I was learning that the life as an alpha wasn’t easy. Adam was busy seventy percent of the time with pack business. But I had found stuff to fill my time. I had turned Elle into my sparring partner. After fighting with Eve—and learning Adam and I were each other’s weaknesses—I knew I had to learn to fight. I wanted Adam to be confident in my ability to take care of myself. Should another uprising occur, I would be an asset instead of a liability. Aside from learning to fight, I was also training with Wade. He thought I could be a seer, and I was starting to agree with him. While dealing with Eve, I’d had visions of the past. At the time, we thought it was because she was the one who turned me, and our connection linked us. It was farfetched, but not impossible. However, even after Eve’s death, the visions happened three other times.