This Dark Wolf (Soul Bitten Shifter #1) - Everly Frost Page 0,1

water, and run the deserted tracks up and down the mountain. Those same deserted patches of forest are my hunting ground, where I’ve honed my senses over the years.

The cabin where I live with my father is separated from my pack’s main village, which is hidden from humans within the Cascade Range situated east of Portland, Oregon.

The vast Cascade Range is the home of five packs, which we collectively call the Highland packs. The remaining two packs are located in Portland City itself, collectively known as the Lowland packs. There’s enough space separating the territories of the Highland packs that we rarely have conflict. The two Lowland packs control territory in the city on opposite sides of the Willamette River. Even with the river separating their territory, they are constantly at each other’s throats.

Planting my feet, I allow the axe to fall, splitting another piece of firewood in half, sending a crack echoing across the clearing. Leaving the axe in the block, I grip the smaller of the broken pieces in my hand before I turn to the approaching men, feigning surprise at their appearance.

The piece of wood is solid in my hand. I may not be allowed to use my wolf to fight back, but if they threaten me, I won’t hesitate to protect myself with all of my human strength and every weapon available to me.

The three men appear at the edge of the clearing simultaneously. They’re naked from the waist up, wearing low-slung jeans and boots. Their torsos glisten with sweat in the late afternoon sunlight. Tattoos sprawl across their arms and chests, but the designs are mere outlines—sketches of the full tattoos they’ll be given once they become alphas.

The two men standing in the center and to my far right are strangers to me. They smell distinctly similar—brothers, perhaps. I quickly gauge their ages—maybe early twenties like me.

The guy in the middle is the tallest and possibly the oldest. His sandy blond hair is long enough to reach halfway down his neck but is slicked back from his face. His brown eyes are the color of hickory and his gaze rakes up and down my form, narrowing rapidly as he appraises me.

The slightly shorter guy to the far right has darker blond hair and similar brown eyes. His nose is dusted with fine freckles that might look cute except that his lips are turned down in distaste as his gaze drags over me. For a second, a golden blaze breaks through his gray aura, but it’s far weaker than the first man’s aura. If they’re brothers, then he’s second-in-line.

The third man—the one standing to my far left—is too well known to me. Dawson Nash is the son of my pack’s alpha and one of my constant tormentors. When we were younger, he started in on me with shoves and taunts that quickly became fractured bones and deep bruises as we grew older and he grew stronger.

His brown hair is cut close at the sides, shaved right to his scalp in places that form sweeping lines across the left side, while the top is longer, a wildly scruffy contrast.

We both inherited our mother’s startlingly blue eyes.

Every pack has its share of bullies, but I struggle to imagine anyone worse than my half-brother.

My mother abandoned me and my father when I was born and became the new alpha’s mate. She has had no part in my life, only tried to see me once, and to my knowledge has never attempted to stop Dawson from hurting me.

Since I turned eighteen and don’t have to go to school in the village anymore, I’ve protected myself from my half-brother by keeping to the mountain slope. The worst Dawson’s done to me in the last three years is give me a black eye and bruised ribs.

The look on his face now is dark and wild, his lips pulled back to reveal his teeth.

Damn. He must be here to show the other two shifters how tough he is.

While they take a beat to size me up, Dawson strides straight toward me, calling to the taller blond man at the same time. “Do you see, Cody? She’s a freak.”

I guess I’m not dressed up enough for them. I’m wearing a navy-checked flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. It’s untucked and falls past my backside, hiding my curves. My soft leather ankle boots sit below the hem of my jeans. My red hair is piled on top of my head in an untidy bun, Copyright 2016 - 2024